Getting a mortgage is a big decision, so it pays to plan and prepare carefully. It’s important to research the market by shopping around and looking for the offering that best suits you. It’s also vitally important to know what you need.

This guide aims to provide first-time buyers with simple information on the mortgage application process.

Help to Buy Incentive

The Help to Buy Incentive (HTBI) was introduced by the Minister for Finance under Rebuilding Ireland, Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.  The provisions of the HTBI are included in the Finance Act 2016.  Details of the process for First Time Buyer Applicants, Qualifying contractors and Mortgage Lenders are available on the Revenue Commissioners website at

Points to note:

  • The scheme applies to First Time Buyers purchasing their main residence
  • First Time Buyers must complete the application process to establish the payment amount that would be available to them
  • The scheme applies to newly constructed and ‘self build’ qualifying residences
  • The property must be part of a development built by a qualifying contractor
  • The maximum purchase value of the property is €500,000 (except for those qualifying properties purchased between 1 July and 31 December 2016 where the maximum value is €600,000)
  • The loan to value shall not be less than 70%
  • The amount of the HTBI is 5% of the purchase value of the property to a maximum €20,000
  • First Time Buyers can complete the claim process once they have formally agreed to purchase a qualifying property
  • The purchase must be complete within two years of the receipt of the payment from the Revenue Commissioners. Otherwise the payment will be subject to clawback by the Revenue Commissioners
  • First Time Buyers must occupy the property for five years from the date that it is habitable.

See for full details of the Help to Buy Incentive

The First-time Buyers Guide to the Mortgage Application Process is available for download below in PDF format.